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Cuneiform—New Life for a Dead Script: Rendez-vous of extinct languages

Cuneiform is a multilingual script. Even though introduced to Unicode long ago, scholars in Ancient Oriental Studies are well aware of the fact that a bit more may actually be needed to let it really make sense in the context of modern-day media. Now, a new font family is produced, aimed at rendering complex sign lists by taking into account the different stages of development as well as a small universe of language variants. In close exchange with people active in the field, a web-based multilingual input method is under development, improving and widening the visual display of Cuneiform signs in a digital environment while keeping up the typographic standards of Roman transliteration systems used in science today. The project requires a basic knowledge of Cuneiform writing, history, and the necessities of its present-day usage, as well as skills in typeface design, typography, and coding. It represents an individual answer to the question of what a typeface designer could actually do for science.

Roman Wilhelm

Roman Wilhelm

Roman studied for a typeface design master class under Fred Smeijers at Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts. From 2007 to 2013, he was a member of the Multilingual Typography Research Group at Zurich University of the Arts, led by Ruedi Baur. Roman is currently responsible for the typography lab at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK Berlin) and works as an information designer at the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW Berlin). His first Chinese font “Laowai Sung” was nominated for the Tokyo TDC awards 2013.

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